5 Wyoming Stories That Should Be Featured on ‘Drunk History’
Comedy Central's "Drunk History," which has been running since 2013, features drunk storytellers telling strange, but true stories from American history. Although there was an entire episode featuring stories from the Wild West, there is a surprising lack of stories from Wyoming in the program. Given Wyoming's illustrious history, it's a wonder that the Equality State doesn't have its own episode. With the show starting its fifth season soon, here are a few stories that could be featured in a Wyoming-centric episode.
Melville C. Brown became Laramie's first mayor in 1868. Brown also served the shortest mayoral term, resigning a mere 6 weeks after taking office, citing the "incompetency of the many officers...and the incapacity and laxity of said officers in the discharge of their duties."
After Brown's resignation, notorious outlaw Asa "Ace" Moore, along with his half brother Con Moore and fellow outlaw "Long Steve" Young took over the town and began a 2 month reign of terror, resulting in 20 casualties connected to the trio during that time.
In October of 1868, a raid on the Belle of the West, a saloon run by the outlaws, resulted in the capture of the trio. They were subsequently executed in a triple hanging between Custer Street and Garfield Street in Downtown Laramie.
Back in 1880, an outlaw by the name of George "Big Nose" Parrot was caught trying to rob a train and was subsequently sentenced to hang in Rawlins.
After two botched attempts that resulted in the removal of Parrot's ears, he was finally executed on the third try. After the hanging, a doctor by the name of John Osborne took the body. After performing a set of experiments on the body, Osborne had the corpse turned into a pair of boots. Osborne is rumored to have worn the boots to his inauguration as Wyoming's third governor in 1892.
Although this story's official status as an urban legend may disqualify it from being featured on "Drunk History," it's a fascinating story all the same.
When Laramie was founded in the 1800s, a cemetery was quickly established, but then moved twice due to the quick expansion of the town. The location of the first cemetery is under dispute, but it is believed that the second cemetery was on the University of Wyoming campus, where Knight Hall is currently located.
During the relocation of the cemetery from Knight Hall to its permanent home on 15th Street, though, one peculiar corpse in particular didn't make the transition to the Greenhill Cemetery because it simply disappeared.
During the exhumation of bodies from the Knight Hall cemetery, a man by the name of "Old Jim" Sherrod came across a casket that he felt weighed 800 pounds. After opening the casket, Sherrod said he found a body that had been turned to stone.
Unfortunately, because the body disappeared, along with coroner's records relating to the examination of the corpse, there is no proof that the petrified body existed.
Wyoming has long been a paleontogical hot spot, with a so called "dinosaur graveyard" located outside of Medicine Bow. Also located near Medicine Bow is a cabin constructed almost entirely from the fossilized bones of dinosaurs.
Homesteader Thomas Boylan started collecting bones in 1915 to build a dinosaur skeleton. However, he wasn't able to find enough bones to complete the skeleton, and instead decided to build a cabin from the fossils. Upon its completion, Boylan and his wife, Grace operated the cabin as a museum.
Thrill seeking adventurer George Hopkins went on one of his most daring adventure back in Devil's Tower. With a lot of (at the time) revolutionary developments in parachutes, Hopkins was able to embark on a solo trip to Devil's Tower in 1941.
However, Hopkins failed to inform the National Park Service that he planned on doing so. While he successfully completed his jump and landed on top of Devil's Tower, he hadn't thought about how he might get down.
Before long, the nation was alerted to his plight, and supplies were delivered via airplane. Eventually, Hopkins was rescued by Jack Durrance, the second man to ever scale Devil's Tower.